Photography in caves is tough. Its dark. Very dark. In fact it couldn’t be darker. With this in mind, I always try to work on shots that show me what I have seen, and not what the camera flash sees.  For myself, capturing the actual diving experience is what  I go for, although I admire strobe photographers with a good eye who know what they are doing. In my my opinion, strobes are used only at the last, when  the photographer knows the shot he is after, but good photographers in this field are few and far between. With a point and shoot, I nearly always leave my flash off, and try and rely on my 10 watt HiD lamp. Taking two lamps is not a bad idea, as you can light up two areas, giving the shots more depth. Obviously an ISO setting of 80 will make it look like a lights out exit, so keep the setting on a high ISO, but not so grainy that it distorts the picture. Before doing this, learn to use two lamps properly by doing a couple of trial dives without the camera. It can get really tricky. Coordinate with your buddy about where you want him to shine his light, and when. This will require simple basic well rehearsed communication signals. Either a 13 or 6 degree HiD bulb is fine, and both produce good but different results. Old halogen bulbs are also pretty sexy, giving the cave a gorgeous orange glow, and a mixture of HiD and halogen can work really well. However, as of writing, LED’s are just about getting the strength. The light from a LED is easily dispersed in water, however, the new super LED’s and the 1, 2, and 5 watt diodes which have good dome based reflectors which narrow the beam are producing intense light beams. This is a huge improvement from the their previously huge light dispersment. Remember that getting 16 hours of 50 watt light from a single AAA battery is great, but useless if you only have enough gas for an hour dive. Reason is everything. Also, LED light has very little blue or red spectrum light in its colors, and just like halogen bulbs, it will give a different color tint from HiD bulbs.

Do not use tripods. They are difficult to get in, and i promise, no matter how small, the tripod is going to have impact with the cave. No shot is worth at. period.

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